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Syria agrees to Arab League observer mission
A team of Arab League observers will head to Syria on Thursday as part of a peace plan that aims to end a nine-month-long crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad. Syria signed a deal agreeing to the observers on Monday.
AFP - An advance team of Arab observers will head to Damascus on Thursday to set the ground for monitors overseeing a deal to end months of bloodshed, the Arab League said on Tuesday.
"An advance team headed by Arab League Assistant Secretary General Samir Seif al-Yazal will head to Damascus on Thursday," Assistant Secretary General Ahmed Bin Helli told reporters.
The advance team will include security, legal and administrative observers, with human rights experts expected to follow, the League said.
The Arab bloc has also named General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi -- former head of Sudanese military intelligence and state minister for security arrangements -- to head the observer mission, Bin Helli said.
Dabi, who coordinated between the Sudanese government and the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping troops in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, is expected in Cairo in the coming days.
Dabi "will head to Cairo to meet Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi to receive the necessary instructions and go over the details of the mission's mandate, and will head to Damascus within days," Bin Helli said.
After weeks of stalling, President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime signed a deal at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Monday to accept observers to monitor a plan to end the bloodshed.
The observer mission is part of an Arab plan endorsed by Syria on November 2, which also calls for a halt to the violence, releasing detainees and the withdrawal of the military from towns and residential districts.